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Well Oiled

Hash Jar Tempo

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Album Review

Recorded in a one day session, Well Oiled lives up to the Krautrock-inspired goof of the band name (think Ash Ra Tempel) without simply replicating the time. Instead, it very much is what is promised, a collaboration between Roy Montgomery and Bardo Pond that lives up to the experimental and exploratory heights both are easily capable of. All cuts are untitled, and given the improvisational nature of the disc, the feeling is that of just listening in on six fine players working together and seeing what can happen without prompting. Unlike the group's semi-namesake, Hash Jar Tempo doesn't punish and haunt so much as it does engagingly trip out, with the right head-nodding pace and echoing chimes that will attract both older stoners and younger shoegaze freaks. There are certainly some pretty intense moments, though — the fourth track is one of the best, a subtly relentless freakout that feels like slow magma crushing everything before it, with some wild guitar work deep in the mix. Montgomery sometimes isn't as immediately apparent on the cuts, but at points he's clearly present — if it isn't him doing the central guitar chime on the third track, it's definitely him with all the squalling noises deep in the mix around the core glazed flow. From there things build in slow intensity, never quite exploding at the end but with a constant sense that all the cascading feedback — unaccompanied by any drumming — will yet totally let loose. Another Montgomery standout is his majestic lead line that kicks things off on the fifth track, arcing up and down and up again with all the power and melancholy of his work on Temple IV.

Biography

Formed: March, 1995 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Hash Jar Tempo was the name applied to the infrequent collaborations between Psychedelphia space-rock combo Bardo Pond and New Zealand-based experimental guitarist Roy Montgomery. They first teamed in March of 1995 to record the guitar freakout Well Oiled, and when Montgomery returned to the U.S. in 1998 to appear at San Francisco's Terrastock II festival, he made a stop at Bardo...
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Well Oiled, Hash Jar Tempo
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